If you've ever browsed the “Gay and Lesbian” section on Netflix, you've witnessed the whitest assortment of titles to represent the queer community. It’s painful and insulting to look at as a black queer person, however Netflix throws in a few films actually worth looking at sometimes. A section specifically for films about queer people of color does not exist, but here are some recommendations for LGBTQ films about black people which will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even have a new outlook on life.
Like what you're reading? Get more in your inbox.
Welcome to the family! Check your inbox for your confirmation.
This indie dramedy directed by Sean S. Baker follows the day of transgender prostitute Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) as she confronts her pimp/ boyfriend Chester (James Ransone) for cheating on her with a cisgender woman, another prostitute, while she served a 28-day prison sentence. Even though Sin-Dee just got out of prison, she can't seem to stay away from drama.
Game Face (2015)
This sports documentary film, directed by Michiel Thomas and produced by Mark Schoen, follows two black athletes, one trans and the other gay, as they consider the consequences of coming out to their respective communities. While wrestling to maintain her career, Fallon “The Queen of Swords” Fox reflects on her transition and experiences as the first professional transgender woman in Mixed Martial Arts. This story parallels the experiences of college basketball player Terrence Clemens as he debates whether to tell his small town community and teammates he is gay.
Naz and Maalik (2015)
Written and directed by Jay Dockendorf, this drama follows two black Muslim teens, Naz (Kerwin Johnson Jr.) and Maalik (Curtiss Cook Jr.) living in Brooklyn struggling to admit their sexuality and romance with one another. The film follows the couple on a regular summer day selling lottery tickets on the street and engaging in youthful antics while being profiled by an FBI operative looking for Islamic extremists. In fear of being outed to their religious households, the two struggle to keep their story straight.
Randy Rousseau (Julian Walker), a church boy from a small baptist town in Mississippi, develops a crush on a boy from school and experiences growing pains in his tight-knit high school friend group. While struggling to accept himself as a gay Christian, he finds his first boyfriend but fails to please his mother Claire Rousseau (Mo’Nique). The drama also stars Isaiah Washington as Lance Rousseau, Randy’s estranged father, and was directed by Patrik-Ian Polk, the creator of LOGO television series Noah’s Arc.
The Skinny (2012)
Also written and directed by Patrik-Ian Polk, this romantic comedy and drama follows Magnus (Jussie Smollett), a medical student, and his successful group of friends from Brown University for a weekend long reunion for New York Pride. The four gay men and a lesbian reminisce and relive their college glory days.
Stud Life (2012)
Directed by Campbell Ex, the British Drama and Romance follows JJ (T'Nia Miller), a lesbian working as a wedding photographer with her gay best friend Seb as she embarks on a new relationship with a femme. This new relationship creates a divide in their friendship and places JJ in a uncomfortable situation.
The film follows teenager Alike (Adepero Oduye), who lives with her religious parents in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. Concealing her identity as a butch lesbian from her family, she goes out to nightclubs with her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker). Looking to embrace her sexuality, she struggles finding romantic love and acceptance from her family at the same time. Pariah premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Excellence in Cinematography Award. Written and directed by Dee Rees, Pariah also won Best Independent Film from the African-American Film Critics Association and Black Film Critics Circle
Have you seen any of these movies? Let me know your favorites in the comments below!
Curating Culture through Media. Queer Black Multimedia Journalist, Artist. News. Socio-Political. Lifestyles. Entertainment. Twitter: @lmalikanderson | Website: lmalikanderson.com
Blavity is a community of the most exceptional multi-cultural creators and influencers in the world. We partner with diverse content creators and influencers to help them reach a wider audience, amplify their message, and fund their hustles. We believe that the world shifts according to the way people see it— and if you change the way people view the world, you can transform it. A subsidiary of Blavity, Inc.